The BMW Group
has begun sourcing aluminium produced using solar electricity, marking an important milestone on the road to the company’s goal of lowering CO2
emissions in its supplier network by 20% by 2030.
Since producing aluminium is highly energy-intensive, the use of ‘green power ’ — such as solar electricity — offers considerable potential for reducing CO2
emissions and avoid about 2.5 million tonnes of CO2
emissions over the next 10 years.
Andreas Wendt, BMW AG’s board member responsible for ‘Purchasing and Supplier Network’, said: “We aspire to lead the way in sustainability and implement our sustainability goals in a systematic manner. We will be able to meet over 50% of our CO2
targets for the supplier network, just by using green power. The use of solar electricity for producing aluminium is a major step in this direction.”
The aluminium produced using solar power is processed in the light metal foundry at BMW Group Plant Landshut, where it manufactures body and drive train components, including those needed for electric drive trains. Sourcing 43,000 tonnes of solar aluminium will supply nearly half the annual requirements of the light metal foundry at Plant Landshut.
The BMW Group already has a long-standing supply relationship for primary aluminium with Emirates Global Aluminium (EGA), which is the first company in the world to use solar electricity for the commercial production of aluminium, which it will initially supply exclusively to the BMW Group.
EGA sources the electricity used to produce the aluminium destined for the BMW Group from the Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park in the desert outside of Dubai; in the final stage of development, it is set to become the world’s largest solar park.
It is operated by the Dubai Electricity and Water Authority, which has the electricity it produces sustainably certified by third parties, ensuring that it can supply EGA with power that is traceable and transparent.
Mr Wendt added: “In EGA, we have found a strong partner that values sustainable development just as much as we do. It is a special honour for us to be the first customer to receive aluminium produced using solar electricity.
“Aluminium plays an important role in e-mobility and using sustainably produced aluminium is tremendously important to our company.”
The BMW Group aims to have more than seven million electrified vehicles on the roads by 2030 – two thirds of them fully electric. For this order of magnitude, BMW Group Purchasing is working with suppliers to ensure not only that the supply chain can manage the growth in volumes but also that it can implement the requirements for sustainable development.
In 2019, EGA sold 2.6 million tonnes of cast metal and is the only aluminium producer in the United Arab Emirates (it is the fifth-largest aluminium-producing country in the world). With more than 400 customers in over 50 countries, EGA is one of the largest suppliers of foundry alloys to the automotive industry world-wide.